Called "America's best novelist" by the Denver Post, James Lee Burke is well known for his award-winning Dave Robicheaux series. In this enthralling departure, Burke weaves the tale of Iry Paret.
Released from prison after two years for manslaughter, Iry heads to Montana for a fresh start on a ranch owned by a prison buddy's father. He also hopes to nail down a song he's been working on, unable to get quite right. But soon new troubles bring tragic consequences, and it will take a lot more than a soulful tune to ease the pain.
©1986 James Lee Burke; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
Burke is my favorite author and Will Patton my favorite narrator so when they combine I buy immediately. This is a good story and Burke is a teller of tales so I did enjoy this book. I did not like the main character very much though and did not agree with his lifestyle although I myself drink a bit and used to smoke. I do not believe this to be Burke's best work so I gave it four stars and he usually gets five from me. It is still worth the credit and Burke's prose read by Will Patton makes it worthwhile.
I always snap up his books as soon as available. This one drags and drones, wallows and weeps without any relief forever. I had to stop and switch to something else while on a long trip because my pocket knife was within reach and I was afraid I might cut my throat. We need Clete and Dave Robicheaux to partner again in his next release; to wash the taste of this one away.
This was a confusing book for me. The writing was terriffic as with all of James Lee Burke books. The characters were interesting and I felt that they would eventually come together and tell the story. However, this never happened. This book reminded me of an abridged book. In this case however the part that was shortened or left out was the ending. There wasn't one. It was as if Burke was tired of writing and just decided to stop. It made no sense what so ever and spoiled the book for me. As usual the narration by Will Patton was excellent.
Is this what it's like to "be a man" in James Lee Burke's experience? His books are better written than just about anyone's but, God I get tired of the constant boozing and then being sorry for it! Are drunks really this stupid?
Will Patton is the best! No one reads a story better—as well, maybe (and few can do that)—but not better. He is superb!
If you've read Burke before then you already know about the drunks who pepper all his stories. The characters of this story may be the worst of all of them. Still, it is a good story. Typical James Lee Burke.
This is kind of an odd book. As usual, Burke's eloquent descriptive prose is here, along with his frequent, thoughtful meditations on the human condition. But there really isn't much of a coherent plot here. A recently released ex-convict and gifted musician tries to navigate his way to a meaningful life, all while watching the lives of everybody around him crash and burn due to their various character defects and the inherent brutality and cruelty of the world. That really does capture the entire plot here. It seems like Burke is trying to write more of a character-driven novel here instead of his more usual, exciting dramas. Yet somehow the characters here just aren't drawn with as much vitality and fine detail as in Burke's other works. That said, Will Patten reading James Lee Burke is never exactly a bad time - just listening to him describe the mountains and the wilderness is something amazing. So if you go into it not expecting much - it will exceed your expectations. If you expect this to be another Neon Rain, you will be disappointed.
The story is terrific and believeable and the narration is superior.
It's been a while since I've listened, but I think the most memorable moment was when the main character did not get sent back to jail. Though he was guilty, you just couldn't help pull for the guy and wish that he would get on the right track!
The main character, though I'm awful with names and it's been a while since I listened to this.
I try to spread my listening out for just when I'm in the car, to and forth from work. It helps to pass the time. But this book, I found myself listening to it on my walks with the dogs too. It was hard spacing it out.
In a way, this author reminds me of Louis L'amore who I've heard never wrote about a place unless he'd been there. It has to be true with this author as well.
I know from whence I speak.
If your craving is for more audio of James Lee Burke read by Will Patton you might be happy with this book. Don't be looking for Dave Robecheaux or Billy Bob Howland, though. This book is about people stuck at the lower levels of the socioeconomic scale because of irresponsible behavior and bad decisions usually made in a drunken stupor. I felt like I needed to take a shower to wash off the stale smoke, cheap whiskey, and jailhouse urine about every two chapters. You can certainly see the beginnings of the addiction themes in Burke's later novels but this one offers little else and takes the listener a little too deep into a virtual truck-stop restroom world for my taste. Descriptive yes, satisfying, no.
I love James Lee Burke, but there is not one character to like in this book, and no story to follow. Terrible - even Will Patton cannot save this one.
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